Friday, September 22, 2023

Of friends and blackboards

Tonight we will live the umpteenth confrontation between Unicaja and CB Canarias in a season in which they keep their fight open as aspirants to the throne of the great ocean liners of the League. Malaga’s commitment to dizzying speed with maximum defensive intensity comes up against the Laguna proposal based on an unstoppable 2×2 that grows thanks to a clear-sighted circulation of the ball. The duel between the benches, led by Navarro and Vidorreta, takes place between plays and tactical plots with victory as the only objective at this time of the year. For Ibon and Txus, the sporting rivalry does not cloud their close personal relationship off the pitch. In the same way, years ago, back in the 80s, a beautiful connection began to take shape between the coaches from Malaga and the Canary Islands.

We are talking about a more familiar and romantic basketball, with tournaments such as the Escobasket and the Spanish championships or the famous clinic in Oviedo, which served as a meeting point to share knowledge and experiences. The pioneers Alfonso Queipo de Llano and José María Martín Urbano traveled from Málaga together with a group of young people eager to learn (Javier Imbroda, Pedro Ramírez and Ramón García) while Jose Carlos Hernández Rizo, the silver fox from Tenerife, was the basketball standard bearer insular.

Considered an icon of basketball in the Canary Islands, Hernández Rizo’s relationship with the orange ball began as a player, later becoming an assistant for different teams until he became head coach at several top-level clubs, such as Hispano Inglés, Náutico from Tenerife or CB Canarias itself, which reached the Korac Cup in the mid-1980s. Germán González, a historic player for Caja Ronda and Cajacanarias, remembers Rizo as a fantastic coach, endowed with special skill in team management. cluster.

Able to understand the psychology of the player, he had the ability to know how to carry the talented but troubled Eddie Philips. Germán remembers that, thanks to his calm and balanced character, Hernández Rizo managed time-outs perfectly, explaining all the plays very clearly.

Beyond his brilliant career in basketball in his region, Hernández Rizo traveled to Malaga many times. Discoverer of great Canarian talents who stood out in the Unicaja youth academy, such as Richi Guillén or Yuse García, he visited the Los Guindos facilities quite frequently. Apart from greeting his friends from Malaga, Jose Carlos soaked up the operation of the Malaga talent factory to try to replicate the model on the island of Tenerife. He experienced important duels with the representative clubs of our city (Caja Ronda and Maristas), keeping pleasant memories of those confrontations on a sporting and human level.

Among his experiences with Málaga, Hernández Rizo recalls the direct relationship he had with Javier Imbroda, whom he invited to present his book in Tenerife, or the friendship he had with Paco Moreno (alma mater in the Caja Ronda offices). But what he has not been able to forget about his visits to our city is the gigantic Doberman that Germán González had in his house in the Cerrado de Calderón.

The close relationship between Hernández Rizo, current patron of CB Canarias, with basketball from Malaga shows that the values ​​of our sport go beyond rivalries, competitions and tactics. Blackboards, plays and matches, a simple excuse to consolidate human relations over markers.

The Little Column (Simón RJ)

Did you know that Gio Shermadini, a former Unicaja player, has once again been named the MVP of the League?


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